Academic Misconduct Policy
Students are expected to maintain the highest academic standards while enrolled in CTC classes. We have provided some resources to include an online academic misconduct quiz which is required of all students. Students are required to take the quiz and follow the instructions from their instructor or on their syllabus for correct submission.
Students guilty of academic misconduct or fraud or scholastic dishonesty may be administratively dropped from the course or courses and receive a grade of “0” by the responsible Dean, and/or may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension or expulsion.
Most examples of academic misconduct fall under the general category of cheating. Cheating involves the unauthorized use of information, materials, devices, sources, or practices in completing academic activities.
Cheating includes, but is not limited to
- Copying another student’s coursework, test, research paper or term paper.
- Using materials during a test that are not authorized by the test administrator.
- Collaborating with another individual on coursework when not authorized by the instructor or during a test without permission.
- Obtaining, recording, using, buying, selling, stealing, transporting, soliciting, sharing, or making available the contents of a test or coursework, to include course assignments and academic work, not explicitly authorized by a professor. • Taking a test or preparing academic work for another student.
- Having another person prepare academic work or take a test on behalf of the student.
- Altering or falsifying coursework or test results after they have been evaluated by the instructor and returned to the student.
- Falsifying or altering any College document, to include transcripts. • Sharing of passwords and log in information to complete course work.
Plagiarism: a type of cheating that includes the presentation of another person’s work as your own, without proper acknowledgment of the source, with or without the creator’s permission, intentionally or unintentionally. By taking CTC courses, you agree that all required papers, exams, class projects or other assignments completed for credit may be submitted to SafeAssign or similar third parties to be reviewed and evaluated for originality and intellectual integrity. Plagiarism.org is a free website for information on what plagiarism is and how to prevent plagiarism in your writing. Another good resource is Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL).
Collusion: The digital age has given students new ways to commit collusion and cheating. Collusion happens when more than one person contributes to a piece of work that is submitted as the work of an individual student. Collaboration becomes collusion when the intention is to deceive. Examples of collusion and cheating include, but are not limited to, manipulating quizzes and exams to obtain the correct answers or extend time limits, asking or compensating a third party to complete your coursework, or Googling questions as you are testing.
Ghostwriting: although acceptable in the business and political world, is not an acceptable practice in college. Ghostwriting is defined as “writing something (usually this is a paid service) which will appear under someone else’s name” – like a celebrity who wants to see their name on the cover of a book but didn’t do the actual writing. In college courses, ghostwriting is considered a type of collusion and is also known as “contract cheating.”
Although the digital age has given students new ways to cheat, it has also given instructors and institutions new ways to identify and verify collusion and cheating instances. In addition to using SafeAssign to check for plagiarism, CTC uses Biometric Signature ID (BioSig-ID™) as a way to verify that the student who registered for the class is the person who is submitting coursework and taking exams. Part of this process involves the tracking of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. An IP address identifies the host or network interface and the location.
It is against CTC academic policy for students to commit any of the acts described above or to
- share passwords and other log-in information to Blackboard or BioSig-ID.
- mask IPs, use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), or otherwise disguise location.
The instructor will examine documentation related to the alleged misconduct and any student who is determined to have committed such misconduct is subject the CTC disciplinary process for academic misconduct.
The Academic Misconduct Process
First offense: The instructor will assign a grade of 0 for the assignment or examination where academic misconduct is determined to have occurred. The student will remain in class at this time and have the ability to appeal the grade as set forth herein. Should the student wish to appeal the decision after being notified of the grade, the appeal must be filed, as set forth below, within three business days.
Second offense: If academic misconduct is detected a second time in the same or different course, the instructor will assign a grade of 0 for the assignment and the student will be placed on disciplinary probation. Should the student wish to appeal the decision after being notified of the grade, the appeal must be filed within three business days. The student is allowed to remain in class until the appeal process is completed.
Third offense: If a third academic misconduct occurrence is detected in additional courses at any time, the student will be placed on misconduct suspension which could lead to expulsion. Should the student wish to appeal after being notified of his/her misconduct, the appeal must be filed within three business days. Because this action is on misconduct, it does not fall under the 180-day rule for academic grade disputes as cited in the CTC Student Handbook.
Appeal Process: CTCD faculty and staff maintain an open-door policy for all students attending Central Texas College. This means that any student problem should, if possible, be worked out between the student and the faculty or staff member directly involved with the problem. If the student feels that he/she cannot address the issue with the faculty or staff member and/or the problem remains unsolved, he/she should immediately consult the Department Chair, or for online courses, the Online Manager. The student may also contact the Director of Student Life or the Dean or Associate Dean for that campus for direction as to next steps.
A faculty member will not be required to respond to a complaint, regarding academic issues, such as grades, that is not in writing and, when appropriate, does not have specific documentation such as dates, times, materials, etc.
An appeal allows a student to make a formal request for a review of the decision made by an instructor. The appeal is reviewed by a higher authority, where a student can request a change to the decision made by the instructor. A full appeal has the following steps, but it can be resolved at any step:
Level 1: In order to file an appeal, the student must present his/ her case in writing to the instructor. The instructor or student may request a meeting, either virtually or in-person, or the process can continue solely in writing via email. Regardless of whether the process has included meetings or not, the instructor must provide his/her decision to the student in writing.
Level 2: If the student wishes to continue the appeal process, within 3 business days of the date of the instructor’s written decision, the student must contact, the Online Manager (online courses), Department Chair (face-to-face, SVL, or blended courses), or Site Director in writing to state his/her case. If no Online Manager is assigned, the student may directly contact the Department Chair or Site Director. The Online Manager, Department Chair, or Site Director will review all documentation and provide a written decision to the student with a copy to appropriate supervisors.
Level 3: If the student is not satisfied with the Level 2 response and wishes to appeal the decision, the student can appeal in writing to the Academic Misconduct Committee (AMC) through the responsible Dean. This is the last level of appeal. This appeal must be received by the Dean no later than 3 business days following the date of the Level 2 decision. At this level, the responsible Dean will ask the Online Manager, Department Chair, or Site Director to gather all documentation related to the case and submit it to the responsible Dean, so it can be provided to the AMC for further investigation. The responsible Dean assembles an AMC composed of Student Success department staff and faculty. After reviewing all documentation, the recommendations of the AMC are compiled by the Committee Lead and provided to the responsible Dean. The Dean reviews everything and approves/disapproves. If the Dean approves, the response is sent to the student with a copy to the Online Manager, Department Chair, or Site Director and the instructor. If the Dean disapproves, the Dean writes recommendations on the response and sends it back to the AMC to reconsider until a final consensus is reached and a response can be sent to the student. This response is final.
Please note that some departments, such as Nursing, have other discipline-related accreditation standards which may require them to have additional approvals, steps, or timelines to the process while still being congruent with the institution’s policies. For example, Nursing will always have the Director of Nursing included in the appeal process. Students should be sure to check with the specific department to ensure that they fully understand any differences in the process.
Timeline: The student has 3 days to appeal at each level and the respondent has 10 days to reply with a decision. The Academic Misconduct Committee recommends the final determination, which receives review and approval or modification by the Dean. The Dean shall respond in writing to the student within 10 days of receipt of the AMC’s recommendation. If the appeal process is not complete by the time the course ends, an IP will temporarily be issued in place of a grade until the process is finished. This completes the appeal process and the appeal decision is final.