Academic Integrity Policy

In keeping with its mission, College of Saint Mary seeks to prepare its students to be knowledgeable, forthright and honest. Faculty, students, and administrative staff all share the responsibility of ensuring the honesty and fairness of the intellectual environment at CSM. Academic honesty relies on trust and includes adherence to institutional policies and guidelines established by the instructor in a given course and prohibits, among other things, the behaviors outlined below.

Policy summary: Each member of the academic community is responsible for maintaining and enforcing academic integrity and avoiding behaviors that undermine the education of others or result in an unfair academic advantage.

Examples of Academic Misconduct:
Violations of academic integrity can take many forms, including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Plagiarism-Therepresentationofanotherperson’swordsorideasasiftheywere one’s own. Examples of plagiarism include submitting a paper in one’s own name that was written by someone else, including in a paper sentences or ideas taken from a source without giving credit to that source.
  2. Cheating - Disseminating or receiving answers, data, or other information by any means other than those expressly permitted by the instructor as part of any academic exercise.
  3. Collusion - Unsanctioned collaboration on individual assignments
  4. Deception and misrepresentation - Knowingly furnishing or facilitating the furnishing of false information, for example, forged signatures, lying about submissions or reasons for missed assignments or classes, falsifying recommendations, etc.
  5. Other academic misconduct - Examples of other academic misconduct include but are not limited to: multiple submissions (submitting the same work for more than one class without permission), sabotage or abuse of academic materials, behaviors that result in an unfair academic advantage, violations of professional clinical codes of conduct.

Students who are unsure whether a behavior is acceptable are expected to contact the instructor for clarification.

Process and Documentation:
When an academic integrity infraction is suspected, the instructor will meet with the student and discuss the concern. If the concern is raised by a staff member (for example a tutor or proctor in the Achievement Center), the staff member will meet with the course instructor to determine appropriate follow-up. If the suspected infraction is a higher level offense (level 3 or 4) the Program Director or other academic administrator will also be present for the conversation. This discussion will be documented on the Academic Integrity Form as a “concern conversation.” Follow-up will depend on the result of the concern conversation.

  • If there is strong evidence that the infraction occurred, the instructor will determine the level of the infraction and appropriate sanctions.
  • If additional information is needed the instructor will notify the Program Director or Division Chair, who will oversee the follow-up.
  • If the infraction is suspected, but cannot be proven, the instructor will note this on the Academic Integrity form, and no sanctions will be applied.

The final determination, with level and sanctions where applicable, will be recorded on the Academic Integrity Form and filed in the Academic Integrity Database.

The Academic Integrity form will be used to report all cases of suspected academic misconduct, including low level offenses based on student ignorance of expectations. Instructors are expected to address even minor and accidental infractions, so the students will learn appropriate and acceptable practices. These conversations will be documented and the documentation stored in a searchable, electronic database. This documentation is not a form of punishment. It is simply a method for documentation and tracking.

The Academic Integrity database will be housed in Academic Affairs and will only be accessible by designated Academic Affairs staff to determine whether a student has previously been made aware of inappropriate behavior (through a concern conversation) and/or whether the student is a repeat offender.

Levels and Sanctions:
The University recognizes that there are varying degrees of academic integrity infractions and appropriate sanctions should fit the severity of the infraction. Types of infractions have been divided into four levels. These levels are described below:

Level 1: Misconduct on a minor assignment and/or accidental infractions due to lack of knowledge of relevant academic integrity expectations.

Level 1 sample sanctions: A grade of F on the assignment; a resubmission of the assignment for reduced points; a warning and required completion of student academic misconduct training module; an additional assignment related to academic integrity; mandatory appointment with writing tutor, etc. Maximum Level 1 Sanction: A grade of F on the assignment.

Level 2: Intentional misconduct, and/or accidental misconduct in which the student should have known* that the conduct was wrong, and/or second offense level 1 infractions.
*the should have known standard is based on information the student explicitly had access to. For example, the conduct was discussed by the instructor in class or was explicitly forbidden in the assignment; or the conduct was covered in the student training module and the student has presented proof of successfully completing this module.

Level 2 sample sanctions: Resubmission of the assignment with significantly reduced grade; a grade of F on the assignment; a grade of F in the course; a course grade reduction and required completion of student academic misconduct training module or other academic integrity related assignment, etc. Maximum Level 2 Sanction: Failure of course

Level 3: Intentional actions that are more flagrantly dishonest in character, and/or impact a major or essential portion of the course work, and/or lead to harm or risk of harm to others, and/or violate professional clinical code of conduct. Examples include, but are not limited to: Intentional misconduct on a major class or program requirement; violation of the clinical code of conduct for the profession; forgery of university signatures or documents; intentional sabotage of the work of other students; second offense level 2 infractions.

Level 3 sample sanctions: A grade of F for the course; dismissal from the program; academic probation or dismissal from the University (with or without notation on transcript). Maximum Level 3 Sanction: Dismissal from the University with notation on transcript

Level 4: Severe intentional infractions and/or misconduct in off-campus setting that causes harm or serious risk of harm to others (e.g., dangerous breaches of professional conduct in clinical, fieldwork, practicum, internship, student teaching, etc.); fourth offense level 1 infractions, third offense level 2 infractions, or second offense level 3 infractions.

Level 4 sample sanctions: Dismissal from the program; dismissal from university with notation on transcript; non-conferral or revocation of degree with notation on transcript. Maximum Level 4 Sanction: Non-conferral or revocation of degree with notation on transcript.

A student penalized for academic dishonesty has the right to appeal a judgment the student believes to be in error. In making this appeal, the student should follow the steps outlined in the Academic Appeals Board procedure. A copy of this procedure is found under Academic Appeals.