Academic Integrity Policy | MVCC | Mohawk Valley Community College
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Academic Integrity Policy

Academic Integrity Policy

   The College is committed to a spirit of intellectual inquiry rooted in the ethical behavior of its participants. Unethical acts, which affect the integrity of learning, are not permissible. Engaging in dishonest or unethical behavior will result in disciplinary action taken against the student by the instructor, or other appropriate college official. Following are categories of prohibited behavior in the classroom, studio, laboratory, library, computer labs, internships, online academic sites, or other areas of college learning.*

Plagiarism: The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers defines plagiarism as using “another person’s ideas or expressions in your writing without acknowledging the source....” Of course, common sense as well as ethics should determine what you document. For example, you rarely need to give sources for familiar proverbs (‘You can’t judge a book by its cover’), well-known quotations (‘We shall overcome’), or common knowledge (‘George Washington was the first president of the United States’). But you must indicate the source of any appropriated material that readers might otherwise mistake for your own” (5th Edition, pp. 30, 33).

Plagiarism may range from isolated formulas, sentences, or paragraphs to entire articles copied from books, periodicals, web sites, speeches, or the writings of other students. Honesty requires that any work or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be acknowledged. Any student who fails to give credit for ideas or materials obtained from another source is guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism, in any of its forms, whether intentional or unintentional, violates standards of academic integrity.  Plagiarism can occur in written, oral, electronic, and/or creative works.
Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to:

  • Direct quotation of any source material whether published or unpublished without giving proper credit through the use of quotation marks, footnotes and other customary means of identifying sources. This includes complete sentences or paragraphs, or an entire piece of written work;
  • Paraphrasing another person’s ideas, opinions, or theories from books, articles, web sites, etc., without identifying and crediting sources and/or “cutting & pasting” from various sources without proper attribution;
  • Borrowing/copying facts, statistics, graphs, diagrams, photographs, or other illustrative or visual materials without identifying and crediting sources;
  • Copying another student’s essay test answers;
  • Submitting papers written by another person or persons;
  • Working together on an assignment and then submitting individual copies of the assignment as one’s own individual work without course instructor approval;
  • Buying, selling, downloading, or exchanging term papers, examinations, or other written assignments, or any part of them;
  • Offering false, fabricated, or fictitious sources for papers, reports, or other any other assignment;
  • Or any other act of plagiarism as defined by faculty within their syllabus

Cheating: Cheating includes, but is not limited to: using unauthorized notes, study aids, or information on an examination, test, assignment, etc.; altering a graded work after it has been returned, then submitting the work for regarding without the instructor’s consent; or allowing another person to do one’s work and submitting that work under one’s own name. Cheating also includes the possession and/or utilization, without authorization, of copies (in whatever form, e.g. hard copy, electronic, pictures, etc.) of tests, answer sheets, or other materials, however obtained, that could interfere with fair, accurate testing, as well as retaining, possessing, using or circulating previously given examination materials without authorization.

Duplicate Submission of the Same Work: Submitting the same work for more than one course is a violation unless the professor(s) assigning the work gives consent in advance. This includes work first produced in connection with classes at either MVCC or other institutions attended by the student.

Collusion: Collusion includes cooperation that results in the work or ideas of others being presented as one’s own (e.g., rather than as a group effort). However, ordinary consultation of faculty, library staff, tutors or others is legitimate unless the instructor has imposed stricter limits for a particular assignment.

False Information and Lying: This includes consciously furnishing false information to other students, faculty members and their representatives, advisors, administrators or representatives of the college offices with the intent to mislead. Instances would include but are not limited to misrepresenting activity outside of the classroom (reports on field work, internships, etc., activity within the classroom (falsifying data, research, etc.) and/or improperly seeking special consideration or privilege (e.g., for postponement of an examination or assignment deadline, etc.).

Falsifying Academic Documentation and Forgery: This includes any attempt to forge or alter academic documentation (including transcripts, letters of recommendation, certificates of enrollment or good standing, registration forms, drop/add forms, withdrawal forms, and medical certification of absence) or to falsify other writing in academic matters (e.g., any documentation provided to instructors) concerning oneself or others. 

Theft, Abuse and Destruction of Academic Property: This comprises unauthorized removal, retention, mutilation or destruction of common property of the college that deprives others of equal access to these materials. Such property includes but is not limited to library materials, laboratory materials, computers and computer software, etc. This includes also sequestering library materials for the use of an individual or group; a willful or repeated failure to respond to recall notices from the library; and the removal or attempt to remove library materials from the library without authorization. The theft, mutilation or destruction of another student’s academic work, including books, notes, computer programs, papers, reports, laboratory experiments, etc. also falls under this type of violation. This also covers the unauthorized recording, sale, purchase, or use of academic lectures, academic computer software, or other instructional materials.

Unauthorized Use of Information Technologies: In the context of the completion of a course and/or assignments (contained within a course), the unauthorized use of computers or the college’s computer network (e.g., the unauthorized use of software, access codes, computing accounts, electronic mail and files) or other electronic devices (calculators, personal digital assistants, pagers, etc.) is prohibited.

Aiding and Abetting Academic Dishonesty: This includes intentionally: (a) providing material, information, or other assistance to another person with knowledge that such aid could be used to commit any of the proscribed acts noted above; or (b) providing false information in connection with any inquiry regarding academic integrity.

Bribery: Offering or giving any article of value or service to an instructor in an attempt to receive a grade or other benefits not legitimately earned or not available to other students in the class.
* Adopted from Canisius College’s Code of Academic Integrity.  Adopted and reprinted with the permission of Canisius College.


  Faculty should specify course penalties for academic dishonesty, typically failing the assignment or failing the course
 2  Any act of academic dishonesty resulting in the imposition of penalties is reported to the Associate Dean in which the course is housed.

 Associate Dean searches database (see #3 below) to determine whether this is the first reported act of academic dishonesty for this student.

FIRST ACT: Associate Dean contacts student to give the student an opportunity to explain. The Associate Dean will issue a letter to the student indicating that the student is required to complete a Bb tutorial on plagiarism.

SUBSEQUENT ACT(S):  See #4 below.

 3  The Associate Dean may require that the student complete a Blackboard tutorial on Academic Integrity. The student must report to the Utica or Rome campus in person with appropriate ID, and complete the tutorial on campus.The tutorial, in addition to a 10-item quiz, also includes a check-off stating that the student has read and understands the policy.  The student’s name and M-number then becomes part of a data-base searchable by Administrators of the College.
4For a second or subsequent act of academic dishonesty, the college may impose penalties in addition to those imposed by the course instructor. An Academic Integrity Review Committee will be convened to consider further penalties. The student has the right to appear before this committee to make an appeal, refute or justify his actions, and/or provide exculpatory evidence. If the student declines to meet with the committee, the committee moves forward with the information they have.

Associate Dean identified in #2 above calls together the Academic Integrity Review committee to make recommendations as to further penalties, up to and including permanent expulsion from the college.

COMMITTEE COMPOSITION: At the beginning of each academic year, each Department identifies two faculty members to serve as a pool from which they may be called to sit on an academic integrity review.  Each Department can determine how these faculty members are chosen — volunteer, voting, assigned by Associate Dean. For any given Academic Integrity Review, two of these faculty members will be chosen on a rotating basis, based on availability. A faculty member cannot sit on the review for an incident he or she reported.

The review committee consists of:

  • Two (2) Associate Deans who have not been involved in investigating the incident thus far.
  • Two (2) at-large faculty members, as described above.
  • One designee from the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
5The Academic Integrity Review Committee will make recommendation as to whether further penalties should be imposed to the Executive Dean of Academic Development and Innovation’s office, unless the student is in the Hospitality program under Academic Development and Innovation. For students in the Hospitality program, the recommendation will go to an Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs.

The Associate Dean(s) to whom the incidents were originally reported will turn over all documentation they have received to the committee. During the investigative process, the committee will invite the student and the instructor to provide information and evidence. Should either or both parties decline, the committee will make recommendations based on the information available to them. Refusal or failure of the student to meet with the committee does not stop the committee’s deliberations and recommendations.

6After considering the recommendation of the committee, the Executive Dean of Academic Development and Innovation (or Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs) makes a decision, which is final.