Western Nevada CollegeWestern Nevada College Policies

Policy 3-4-5: Academic Integrity

WNC Policy 3-4-5
Procedure: Academic Integrity
Policy No.: 3-4-5
Department: Academic & Student Affairs
Contact: Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs

Western Nevada College is committed to providing a high quality educational experience for all students who attend the college. Academic integrity and honesty in all educational classrooms and programs are critical in providing this high level of education attainment. Students at Western Nevada College are expected to be honest and forthright in their academic endeavors because academic dishonesty disrupts the learning process and threatens the educational environment for all students.

  • Section 1: Guidelines for Academic Integrity
    • A. Students assume full responsibility for the content and integrity of the coursework they submit. The following are guidelines to assist students in ensuring academic integrity:
      • 1. Students must complete and submit only their own work on examinations, reports, and projects, unless otherwise permitted by the instructor. Students are encouraged to contact their instructor about appropriate citation guidelines.
      • 2. Students may benefit from working in groups. They may collaborate or cooperate with other students on graded assignments or examinations as directed by the instructor.
      • 3. Students must follow all written and/or verbal instructions given by instructors or designated college representatives prior to taking examinations, placement assessments, tests, quizzes, and evaluations.
      • 4. Students are responsible for adhering to course requirements as specified by the instructor in the course syllabus.
  • Section 2: Academic Dishonesty
    • A. The College places a high expectation on all students to act honestly in all situations. The College does recognize that some students will choose to commit acts of academic dishonesty, which places an expectation on all faculty and staff to confront these acts of dishonesty.
  • Section 3: What is "Academic Dishonesty?"
    • A. Academic dishonesty is any form of cheating and plagiarism which results in students giving or receiving unauthorized assistance in an academic exercise or receiving credit for work which is not their own. Academic dishonesty is a behavioral issue, not an issue of academic performance. As such, it is considered an act of misconduct and is subject to the College disciplinary process as defined in the Nevada System of Higher Education Code.
  • Section 4: What are Specific Acts of Academic Dishonesty?
    • A. Cheating
      Cheating is an act of deception by which a student misrepresents that he or she has mastered information on an academic exercise, which in fact has not been mastered. Examples include:
      • 1. Copying from another student's test or assignment.
      • 2. Allowing another student to copy from a test or assignment.
      • 3. Collaborating during a test with any other person without instructor permission.
      • 4. Using the course textbook or other course materials during a test without instructor permission.
      • 5. Using prepared materials during a test (e.g., notes, formula lists, notes written on the student's clothing, etc.) without instructor permission
      • 6. Stealing, buying, or otherwise obtaining all or part of a test before it is administered.
      • 7. Selling or giving away all or part of an unadministered test, including answers.
      • 8. Bribing any person to obtain an unadministered test or any information about the test.
      • 9. Taking a test for someone else or permitting someone to take a test for the student.
    • B. Plagiarism
      Plagiarism is presenting someone else's words, ideas or data as one's own. When a student submits work 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 as well.
      • 1. In academically honest writing or speaking, the student will acknowledge the source whenever:
        • a. Another person's actual words are quoted.
        • b. Another person's idea, opinion or theory is used, even if it is completely paraphrased in the student's own words.
        • c. Facts, statistics, or other illustrative materials are borrowed, unless the information is common knowledge.
      • 2. Some pitfalls that lead to plagiarism:
        • a. Procrastination
        • b. Failure to follow instructions for the assignment
        • c. Inadequate writing skills to accomplish the assignment
      • 3. How you can avoid these problems:
        • a. Have someone you trust review your work and/or sources.
        • b. Talk with your faculty members, Academic Director, or counselor about your writing skills.
        • c. Complete drafts before due dates.
        • d. Use the Academic Skills Center.
    • C. Multiple Submission
      Submitting, without prior permission, any work submitted to fulfill another academic requirement.
    • D. Fabrication
      Fabrication is the intentional use of invented information or the falsification of research or other findings with the intent to deceive. Examples include:
      • 1. Submitting as the student's own work any academic exercise (e.g., written work, lab work, computer work, art work, etc.) prepared totally or in part by another. (The typing of a student paper by another person is permissible, but all corrections and rephrasing must be the student's own.)
      • 2. Inventing data or source information for research or other academic exercises.
      • 3. Citing of information not taken from the source indicated.
      • 4. Listing sources in a bibliography not actually used in the academic exercise.
    • E. Grade Tampering
      Grade tampering involves changing, altering, or being an accessory to the changing and/or altering of a grade in a grade book, on a test, on an assignment, on a grade change form, or on any other official academic record.
    • F. Failure to Report a Violation
      The conscious failure to report any student who has committed a breach of the Code and may result in action against the student involved.
    • G. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all acts of academic dishonesty, but is a guide to help student and faculty understand what constitutes academic dishonesty.
  • Section 5: Academic Dishonesty Complaint and Hearing Procedures
    • A. The faculty member observing or investigating the apparent act of academic dishonesty documents the commission of the act, usually by writing down the time, date, place, and a description of the act.
    • B. The faculty member collects evidence, often by photocopying the plagiarized assignment and creating a paper trail of all that occurs after the alleged act of academic dishonesty. Often the evidence will include various samples of the student's work showing a radical disparity in style or ability.
    • C. The faculty member provides the student with an opportunity to explain the incident.
    • D. The faculty member explains to the student the procedures and penalties for academic dishonesty and gives the student a copy of the Western Nevada College Academic Integrity Statement.
    • E. The faculty member may resolve the matter informally by determining an appropriate course of action, which may include a verbal or written warning, or a failing grade on an assignment, project, or examination, or no further action. If the accused student contests the faculty member's decision, a hearing with the Academic Director may be requested. The faculty member's policy, with regard to dishonesty, should be included in the course syllabus.
    • F. If the faculty member wishes to initiate further action (e.g., assign a lower grade or a grade of "F" for the course), the student is entitled to a hearing with the Academic Director. The faculty member submits a copy of the Academic Dishonesty Report form and any additional evidence to the Academic Director within 10 days of the alleged act of academic dishonesty, which initiates the hearing process.
    • G. Within 10 business days of receiving an Academic Dishonesty Report form, the Academic Director notifies all parties in writing of the date, time and location of the hearing. At the hearing, the student meets with the faculty member, Academic Director, and two student representatives appointed by the ASWN President, to hear the charges and present information related to the case. The student may bring an advisor, who may advise the student but not present the case. If the student fails to attend the hearing, the faculty member and Academic Director may proceed with the process to completion. The Academic Director will consider any evidence submitted and interview persons as warranted. The Academic Director determines if the action recommended by the faculty member is appropriate.
    • H. Within 10 business days of the hearing, the Academic Director sends written notification of the results to the student and faculty member.
    • I. Within 10 business days of the notification, the student may submit a written appeal to the Academic Director.
    • J. The Academic Director sends a final report to the Vice President of Academic Student Affairs. The Dean of Student Services may also issue disciplinary sanctions in accordance with NSHE Code, Title 2, Chapter 6, Section 3. These may include:
      • 1. Disciplinary admonition and warning.
      • 2. Disciplinary probation with or without the loss of privileges for a definite period of time. The violation of the terms of the disciplinary probation or the breaking of any college rule during the probation period may be grounds for suspension or expulsion from the college.
      • 3. Suspension from Western Nevada College for a definite period of time (i.e., suspension of the privilege to attend Western Nevada College).
      • 4. Expulsion from Western Nevada College (i.e., removal of the privilege to attend Western Nevada College).
    • K. NOTE: A student may not withdraw from a course in order to avoid possible academic and disciplinary sanctions. If a student is suspected of committing an act of academic dishonesty, then the case must be resolved before the student can initiate a withdrawal. Once a student receives an "F" in any course as an academic sanction, the student cannot withdraw from the course. If a student appeals the determination or sanction, the student may not withdraw from the course until after the appeal is resolved. If the appeal process results in the sanction being upheld, then the grade of "F" for that course will be upheld.
  • Section 6: Final Level of Appeal
    • A. If the student chooses to appeal the determination of the Academic Director, the student must file a petition for review with the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs within ten business days of notification of the decision. The Vice President reviews the written records and issues a written decision.
  • Section 7: Timelines
    • A. The Academic Director and the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs may for good cause, extend the scheduling timelines described above.
  • Section 8: Suspected Academic Dishonesty Outside of the Classroom
    • A. The College requires that standards of academic integrity and academic honesty be upheld outside the classroom as well as inside the classroom. Examples of academic dishonesty outside a classroom could include cheating, photocopying papers and tests, plagiarism, and illegal access to web courses and tests, etc. If a student is suspected of committing an act of academic dishonesty outside of the classroom (in a lab, the library, the learning center, etc.) the student will be subject to the following:
      • 1. The person who believes that academic dishonesty took place will gather all available evidence and forward it to the instructor of record for the class in question. The instructor will then confront the student with the evidence and follow the steps as outlined above.
Date Adopted and Dates Revised
Date Adopted November 15, 2005 Dates Revised June 19, 2013; September 2, 2008
Please direct comments about this page to the Assistant to the President
URL: http://www.wnc.edu/policymanual/3-4-5.php
Date Printed: November 21, 2017