Academic Honesty Policy

Enrollment in an academic course at Nichols College obligates the student to follow the college’s Academic Honesty Policy, the violation of which can lead to serious disciplinary action. The policy may be stated simply as follows:

The college expects all academic work submitted by a student (papers, exams, projects, computer programs, etc.) to be the student’s own. Plagiarism (as defined below), cheating during examinations, and assisting others in the acts of plagiarism or cheating are expressly prohibited by the policy. In sum, a student’s academic performance must be an honest representation of the student’s ability.

As a condition for continuing enrollment, all students at Nichols College are required to sign the following statement:

I understand and hereby subscribe to the Nichols College Academic Honesty Policy, as stated and explained above, as a condition for my continuing enrollment at the college.

Academic Dishonesty Defined

1. Plagiarism is the uncredited use of words or ideas that are the result of other persons’ creative efforts. Examples include the following:

a. Copying of other persons’ work during examinations, with or without their permission

b. Duplication of other persons’ homework, themes, essays, reports, research papers, computer code, spreadsheets, graphics, and so on, with or without their permission

c. Use of specific passages or detailed use of specific ideas as set forth in books, journals, magazines, and so on, without proper citation

d. Use of materials provided by term paper services

2. Complicity in plagiarism is condoning the copying of one’s own work, including homework, themes, essays, reports, research papers, computer code, spreadsheet, graphics, and so on. (Note: Selling or assisting in the sale of such work may violate Massachusetts General Law Part IV, Title I, Chapter 271, Section 50.)3. The use of notes, mobile devices, “crib sheets,” or other outside help during examinations, unless the instructor specifically authorizes the use of such materials or an “open book” examination format, is academically dishonest. (Note: Taking an exam for another person is a violation of Massachusetts General Law Part IV, Title I, Chapter 271, Section 50.) 

MINOR VIOLATION

SIGNIFICANT VIOLATION

1. Using verbatim phrases or sentences without proper citation or insufficient citation of other individuals’ concepts or ideas

1. Using verbatim paragraphs or passages of text without proper citation

2. Replacing certain words or reordering phrases instead of paraphrasing

2. Copying most or all of a paper, article, or other document

4. Multiple minor violations in a single course or across

4. Submitting a paper found online

 

5. Purchasing a paper, spreadsheet, or other content from any source (Note: Selling or assisting in the sale of such work may violate Massachusetts General Law Part IV, Title I, Chapter 271, Section 50.)

 

6. Reusing one’s own paper from another course

 

7. Allowing your work to be copied by another student, in whole or in part, with or without your knowledge (Note: Selling or assisting in the sale of such work may violate Massachusetts General Law Part IV, Title I, Chapter 271, Section 50.)

 

8. Use of notes, mobile devices, “crib sheets,” or other outside help during examinations

 

9. Committing repeated minor violations in a single course or across multiple courses

 

Penalties

Penalties for violating the Academic Honesty Policy may be imposed regardless of whether a student knowingly or intentionally committed academic dishonesty. Resources are available to assist students with proper citation and use of sources. Pleading ignorance does not excuse or justify a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy. In addition, prior incidents in other courses may be taken into consideration when determining penalties.

Minor or Significant Violation Penalties

A faculty member will exercise his or her own judgment in determining whether a minor violation warrants a conversation with the student or warrants formal sanctions. The faculty member may permit the student to resubmit the assignment, with or without a grade penalty. In cases of minor violations, faculty are encouraged, but not required, to forward a record of minor violations that are resolved informally to the Divisionof Graduate and Professional Studies for record keeping. For minor violations that are resolved informally, faculty should keep a copy of the Academic Honesty Violation Report for their own records. For formal sanctions of minor violations and for all significant violations, faculty shall submit an Academic Honesty Violation Report to the Divisionof Graduate and Professional Studies and keep a copy for their own records.

Penalties for Minor Violations

The following penalties are imposed for minor violations that warrant formal action, as determined by the faculty member:

  • First minor violation
    The student receives a failing grade on the assignment. The faculty member submits an Academic Honesty Violation Report to the Divisionof Graduate and Professional Studies.
  • Second minor violation
    The student receives a failing grade in the course. The faculty member submits an Academic Honesty Violation Report to the Divisionof Graduate and Professional Studies.
  • Third minor violation
    The student is recommended for suspension from the college. The Academic Dean will convene an ad hoc committee of at least three (3) faculty members to determine the appropriate course of action.

Penalties for Significant Violations

The following penalties are imposed for significant violations of the Academic Honesty Policy:

  • First significant violation
    The student receives a failing grade in the course. The faculty member submits an Academic Honesty Violation Report to the Divisionof Graduate and Professional Studies.
  • Second significant violation
    The student is recommended for suspension from the college. The Academic Dean will convene an ad hoc committee of at least three (3) faculty members to determine the appropriate course of action.
  • Third significant violation
    The student is recommended for expulsion from the college. The Academic Dean will convene an ad hoc committee of at least three (3) faculty members to determine the appropriate course of action.

Delay in Detection

If instances of plagiarism or academic dishonesty are discovered after course credit is earned or a degree is awarded, the college may impose penalties retroactively. Possible actions include changing the course grade, withholding a degree, or rescinding a degree. In such cases, the Divisionof Graduate and Professional Studies will convene an ad hoc committee of at least three (3) faculty members to determine the appropriate course of action.

Faculty Reporting Process

A faculty member has the responsibility both to determine that an Academic Honesty Policy violation has occurred in his or her course, and to impose the appropriate penalty for this violation. The faculty member should follow this process to document and report the incident:

  1. Compile the documentation indicating that academic dishonesty has occurred.
  2. Discuss the incident with the student.
  3. After the discussion, determine the consequences of the violation and notify the student.
  4. Document the incident.
    • Complete the Academic Honesty Violation Report.
    • Submit a copy of the report to the Divisionof Graduate and Professional Studies, if warranted. (See Penalties.)
    • Keep a copy of the report and all supporting documentation for the faculty member’s own records.

If the Divisionof Graduate and Professional Studies’ records indicate that this is not the student’s first offense, the Executive Director will take action in accordance with the previously stated guidelines.

Student Right to Appeal

Minor Violation Penalty Appeal Procedure A student may appeal a minor violation penalty if the student believes that he or she is unjustly accused or that the penalty is inappropriate. The student must submit a written appeal, with supporting evidence, to the faculty member’s Director (evening courses) within seven (7) business days of being notified of these accusations and sanctions, and request a meeting with this  Director. Following this meeting, the Director will make a binding decision within seven (7) business days, thereby concluding the matter.

Significant Violation Penalty Appeal Procedure A student may appeal a significant violation penalty if the student believes that he or she is unjustly accused or that the penalty is inappropriate. The student must submit a written appeal, with supporting evidence, to the Executive Director for Graduate and Professional Studies (evening and online courses) within seven (7) business days of being notified of these accusations and sanctions. The  Executive Director will convene an ad hoc committee composed of at least three (3) faculty members and the Executive Director (ex officio and nonvoting). After a hearing, the committee will issue a final and binding decision within two (2) business days.

This publication provides information concerning the programs at Nichols College and does not constitute a contract with the student.

The policies and procedures contained in the 2015-2016 Nichols College Catalog will remain in effect until June 30, 2016. Nichols College reserves the right to change at any time the rules governing admission, tuition, fees, courses, the granting of degrees, or any other regulations affecting the campus community. Such changes are to take effect whenever college officials deem necessary.