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Academic integrity at Rocky Mountain College is based on a respect for individual achievement that lies at the heart of academic culture. Every faculty member and student belongs to a community of learners where academic integrity is a fundamental commitment. This statement broadly describes principles of student academic conduct supported by all academic programs. It is the responsibility of every member of the academic community to be familiar with these policies.
Basic Standards of Academic Integrity
A student's registration at Rocky Mountain College implies agreement with and requires adherence to the College's standards of academic integrity. These standards cannot be listed exhaustively; however, the following examples represent some types of behavior that violate the basic standards of academic integrity and which are, therefore, unacceptable:
- Cheating: Using unauthorized notes, study aids, or information on an examination; altering a graded work after it has been returned, then submitting the work for re-grading; allowing another person to do one's work and submitting work under one's own name; submitting identical or similar papers for credit in more than one course without prior permission from the course instructors.
- Plagiarism: Submitting material that in part or whole is not entirely one's own work without attributing those same portions to their correct source; not properly attributing words or ideas to a source even if not quoting directly; quoting from another's writing without citing that author's work, including material taken from the Internet, books, and/or papers; citing, with quotation marks, portions of another author's work, but using more of that work without proper attribution; taking a paper, in whole or part, from a site on the Internet or a "library" of already-written papers; copying work from another student.
- Fabrication: Falsifying or inventing any information, data, or citation; presenting data that were not gathered in accordance with standard guidelines defining the appropriate methods for collecting or generating data and failing to include an accurate account of the method by which the data were gathered or collected.
- Obtaining an unfair advantage: (a) Stealing, reproducing, circulating, or otherwise gaining access to examination materials prior to the time authorized by the instructor; (b) stealing, destroying, defacing, or concealing library materials with the purpose of depriving others of their use; (c) unauthorized collaboration on an academic assignment; (d) retaining, possessing, using, or circulating previously given examination materials, where those materials clearly indicate that they are to be returned to the instructor at the conclusion of the examination; (e) intentionally obstructing or interfering with another student's academic work; or (f) otherwise undertaking activity with the purpose of creating or obtaining an unfair academic advantage over other students.
- Aiding and abetting academic dishonesty: (a) Providing material, information, or other assistance to another person with knowledge that such aid could be used in any of the violations stated above, or (b) providing false information in connection with any inquiry regarding academic integrity.
- Falsification of records and official documents: Altering documents affecting academic records; forging signatures of authorization of falsifying information on an official academic document, grade report, letter of permission, petition, drop/add form, ID card, or any other official College document.
- Unauthorized access to computerized academic or administrative records or systems: Viewing or altering computer records, modifying computer programs or systems, releasing or dispensing information gained via unauthorized access, or interfering with the use or availability of computer systems or information.
Due Process and Student Rights
Enforcement of the standards of academic integrity lies with the faculty and the academic division. In all cases involving academic dishonesty, the student charged or suspected shall, at a minimum, be accorded the following rights:
- Be apprised of the charge(s) against him or her;
- Be provided with an opportunity to present information on his or her behalf;
- Be given the right to appeal any decision of an individual faculty member or the Academic Progress Committee to the academic vice president or judicial council. Appeals to the academic vice president must be submitted in writing within 48 hours of the student being formally sanctioned.
Appeals utilizing the Rocky Mountain College judicial process should follow the procedures outlined in the student handbook.
All proven cases of academic dishonesty will be penalized as appropriate under the circumstances. Individual faculty members may take the following actions:
- Issue a private reprimand;
- Issue a formal letter of reprimand; and
- Reduce the student's grade or fail him or her in the course.
All incidents of academic dishonesty will be reported to the registrar, who reserves the right to forward the matter to the Academic Standards Committee for further action. The Academic Standards Committee may take the following actions:
- Define a period of probation, with or without the attachment of conditions;
- Withdraw College scholarship funding;
- Define a period of suspension, with or without the attachment of conditions;
- Expel the student from the College;
- Make a notation on the official record;
- Revoke an awarded degree; or
- Act on any appropriate combination of 1-6 above.
Faculty and Administrative Responsibilities
In order to implement these principles of academic integrity, it is necessary for the administration and faculty to take certain steps that will discourage academic dishonesty and protect academic integrity:
- Rocky Mountain College will regularly communicate to the College community its academic standards and expectations through its institutional publications. Further, the College will encourage and promote open dialogue and discussion about issues affecting academic integrity.
- Instructors should inform students of the academic requirements of each course. Such information may include (a) notice of the scope of permitted collaboration; (b) notice of the conventions of citation and attribution within the discipline of the course; and (c) notice of the materials that may be used during examinations and on other assignments.