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.* 


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  • Direct quotation of any source material whether published or unpublished without giving proper credit through the use of quotation marks, footnotes and other customary means of identifying sources.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 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 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. 


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.