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Academic Integrity

It is the policy of this college (OTC Policy 5.24)  to promote and enforce a culture of academic integrity. Students are expected to behave as responsible members of the college community and to be honest and ethical in their academic work. Students assume full responsibility for the content and integrity of course work they submit.

How Does OTC Define Academic Integrity and Academic Integrity Violations?

By policy, OTC defines our standards of Academic Integrity as follows:

  • Students must do their own work and submit only their own work on examinations, reports and projects, unless otherwise permitted by the faculty.
  • Students are encouraged to contact their instructor about appropriate citation guidelines.
  • 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.
  • Students are responsible for adhering to course requirements as specified by the faculty in the course syllabus.

By policy, OTC defines actions constituting violations of academic integrity to include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. PLAGIARISM. The use of another’s words, ideas, data or product without appropriate acknowledgment, such as copying another’s work, presenting someone else’s opinions and theories as one’s own, or working jointly on a project and then submitting it as one’s own.
  2. CHEATING. The use or attempted use of unauthorized materials, information, or study aids; an act of deceit by which a student attempts to misrepresent academic skills or knowledge; and, unauthorized copying or collaborations.
  3. FABRICATION. Intentional misrepresentation or invention of any information, such as falsifying research, inventing or exaggerating data, or listing incorrect or fictitious references.
  4. COLLUSION. Assisting another to commit an act of academic dishonesty, such as paying or bribing someone to acquire a test or assignment, taking a test or doing an assignment for someone else, or allowing someone to do these things for one’s own benefit.
  5. ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT. The intentional violation of college policies, such as tampering with grades, misrepresenting one’s identity or taking part in obtaining or distributing any part of a test or any information about the test.

 

Some infractions of Academic Integrity may violate state or federal laws or professional codes and may carry serious legal consequences.

Why is Academic Integrity Important at OTC?

Integrity is one of OTC’s Core Values.

We value integrity. Institutionally, the college operates according to the highest standards, as befitting the public trust placed in us by the community we serve. Academically, OTC promotes rigor and integrity in the classroom while fostering an environment respectful of academic freedom. The result for students is an intellectually challenging and diverse education, one that holds students to the same high standards modeled by OTC faculty and the institution itself.

taken from: Mission-Vision-Core Values 2019

What are my responsibilities as a faculty member?

By policy you must:

  1. through your course syllabus, notify students about
    • college policies and procedures regarding academic integrity
    • student responsibilities related to academic integrity
    • consequences of academic integrity violations
  2. through instruction of your course(s), strive to provide students with the knowledge, skills, judgement, and wisdom they need to participate meaningfully in society as educated adults, including the value of Academic Integrity

What should I do if one of my students has committed an Academic Integrity infraction?

By policy you have the authority to:

  1. require a reattempt at the assignment or assessment in question
  2. require the completion of an alternative assignment or assessment
  3. lower the score on the assignment or assessment in question
  4. record a “zero” for the assignment or assessment in question

Should you wish to take one of the above actions you should:

  • communicate with your student in writing via OTC email about the violation and the consequence, this communication should include all of the following:
    • notification of the charge
    • presentation of the evidence supporting the charge
    • information about the appeal process

Should you wish to recommend a consequence other or beyond one of the above, and/or in cases of flagrant and/or repeated academic integrity violations, you should document the incident and your recommendation for consequences on an Academic Integrity Infraction Form.  Once submitted, this form will be reviewed by:

  • The appropriate Department Chair or Program Director, and
  • The appropriate Division Dean (and location Dean or Director if a appropriate), and
  • The Dean of Students

After review of your recommended consequence(s), the appropriate combination of administrators listed above will make a determination regarding the recommendation.  The Dean of Students will communicate the decision to the student via OTC email.  If the student wishes to challenge the accusation or consequence(s), they must follow the procedure outlined in the Academic and Course Grade Appeal policy (OTC Policy 2.62).

Resources for engaging in a student-centered, teaching and learning approach to academic integrity

We encourage faculty to use infractions of Academic Integrity, when possible and appropriate, as learning experiences for our students.  Here are some resources you can use to ensure you are using a “growth” approach, rather than a “punitive” approach to Academic Integrity:

 

If you need help with ideas for designing effective assignments (which can make academic integrity infractions less likely) please reach out to our Instructional Design team or our Library staff – they are more than happy to help!

What are my responsibilities as a student?

As an OTC student you are expected to behave as a responsible member of the college community, and to be ethical and honest in your academic work. You assume full responsibility for the content and integrity of the work you submit. You must submit only your own work on examinations, reports, and projects, unless otherwise permitted by your instructor.

You should read and understand the syllabus in your course(s) to be sure you are familiar with:

  • OTC’s policies and procedures regarding academic integrity
    • this is where you’ll find OTC’s definition of academic integrity and some common examples of academic integrity violations
  • your responsibilities related to academic integrity
  • the consequences of academic integrity violations

What happens if I commit an academic integrity infraction?

If your instructor believes you have committed an academic integrity infraction, they have the authority to

  1. require you to reattempt at the assignment or assessment in question
  2. require you to complete of an alternative assignment or assessment
  3. lower you score on the assignment or assessment in question
  4. record a “zero” for the assignment or assessment in question

If your instructor chooses one of the above consequences, they will communicate with you via OTC email.  That communication will include all of the following:

  • notification of the charge
  • presentation of the evidence supporting the charge
  • information about the appeal process

Should your instructor wish to impose a consequence other or beyond one of the above, and/or in cases of flagrant and/or repeated academic integrity violations, your instructor will submit a form that will be reviewed by:

  • The appropriate Department Chair or Program Director, and
  • The appropriate Division Dean (and location Dean or Director if a appropriate), and
  • The Dean of Students

After review of your instructor’s recommended consequence(s), the appropriate combination of administrators listed above will make a determination regarding the recommendation.  The Dean of Students will communicate the decision to you via OTC email.  If you wish to challenge the accusation or consequence(s), you must follow the procedure outlined in the Academic and Course Grade Appeal policy (OTC Policy 2.62).

 

For more details on the next steps in the process please review items 3 & 4 in section C of Policy 5.24

What resources do I have to help me avoid making an academic integrity infraction?

The syllabus for each of your courses will contain information about college policies and procedures regarding academic integrity.  Please be sure to familiarize yourself with this information and – as always –  if you have a question about how you can best succeed in your course(s), your instructor(s) is your first and best point of contact!  Please just ask.

You can also get FREE help from several areas on campus with any questions you have about academic integrity in research, writing, using citations, etc.

last update: 12/2/2019 Academic Services

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