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Official Policies & Procedures When a Violation is Suspected

As stated in the Academic Integrity Implementation Policy for the Berks College, " University and College Academic Integrity policies must be enforced consistently and equitably. When ever academic dishonesty has taken place this policy must be implemented to ensure consistency and document patterns of dishonesty." The instructor must act on the suspected violations within the policy guidelines.

The procedures for pursuing a case of Academic Dishonesty are outlined in Academic Integrity Implementation Policy for the Berks College. Instructors and students involved in cases of academic dishonesty are urged to consult this document to be informed about all procedural guidelines. For additional guidance through the process, please refer to Who Can Help You Through This Process?

Summary of Procedures

The procedures and policies are summarized below to help faculty and students understand the basic guidelines.

If the instructor suspects an Academic Integrity violation, the instructor is responsible for giving a student charged with academic dishonesty both oral and written notice of the charge. Students may not drop or withdraw from a course in order to avoid following policy guidelines for a charge of academic dishonesty. If a student does drop or withdraw from the course to try to avoid proper procedures, the drop or withdrawal may be reversed.

The instructor should discuss the suspected infraction face-to-face with the student outside of class and give the student the opportunity to respond. The instructor should also inform the student of the College procedures for handling such cases. Under no circumstances should the student’s case be divulged to other students.

The instructor may assign an academic sanction ranging from a warning to a reduced or failing grade on the assignment to failure of the course. The student has the right to accept or reject the instructor’s charge and sanction. (See Suggested Sanctioning Guidelines for guidance on appropriate sanctions).

If the student accepts responsibility for the violation and the proposed academic sanction, the student must sign the Academic Integrity Form indicating that he/she is not contesting the charge. If the student accepts the charge and sanction and signs the form, the instructor will forward this form to the Associate Dean, who will forward it to the Office of Judicial Affairs for record keeping. The College Committee strongly encourages the student and instructor to work toward an agreement so that the case can end swiftly and fairly.

If the student does not accept the charge or sanction, the student must sign the Academic Integrity Form indicating that he/she contests the charge and sanction. When this occurs, the instructor forwards the form to the Associate Dean, who notifies the College Academic Integrity Committee. The case is forwarded to the College Academic Integrity Committee. The instructor will also forward all relevant case materials to the College committee, which will review the facts of the case and/or the proposed academic sanctions. The student has the right to choose a paper review or a formal hearing before the College committee.

The committee must make a determination of guilt and make a request of the Associate Dean who will forward it to Judicial Affairs. The Associate Dean will check with Judicial Affairs to determine if there have been any previous violations of Academic Integrity prior to the assignment of academic sanctions. The report becomes part of the student’s formal educational record.

The case must be referred to Judicial Affairs for formal review or hearing if University Disciplinary sanctions are to be considered. This action must be taken prior to any fact finding. (This includes possible assignment of the XF grade.)

The decision of the College committee is final. At the close of proceedings, the College committee will notify all relevant parties of its decision and forward the outcome to the Office of Judicial Affairs for record keeping.