8. Academic integrity

In any academic activity at the college, students are responsible and accountable for academic integrity. Georgian strives to promote a culture of academic integrity. Students who choose to commit misconduct, or aide in others committing misconduct, will be subject to penalties which will be determined according to the severity of the offence and the number of past misconducts found. Dismissal from the college resulting from a misconduct cannot be appealed.

In addition to the areas of academic misconduct outlined in this section, offences involving civil or criminal law involving academic work or materials are subject to penalties under this procedure. Students should also be aware that other types of misconduct may be dealt with by the college under other procedures, such as the Student Code of Conduct procedure, the Information Technology Acceptable Use procedure, the Ontario Human Rights Code or the Criminal Code of Canada.

Under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 1990, respondents have the right to know that information has been collected about them. If any action is to be taken against respondents in an area of academic misconduct, the respondents have the right to know the allegations against them and enough information about the complaint to be able to defend themselves.

8.1 Types of academic misconduct

The following six areas constitute the major types of academic misconduct and are subject to penalties. Please note that misconduct on one or any portion of a work constitutes misconduct; there is no partial culpability. No fees are refunded to students who are dismissed from the college for misconduct. Refer to the penalties chart (below).

8.1.1 Cheating

Cheating is the use of inappropriate, prohibited or unacknowledged materials, information or aids in any academic work. The use of books, notes, electronic technology (including but not limited to calculators, cell phones, tablets, and voice and video recorders) and conversation with others is restricted or forbidden in many instances of academic work and their use constitutes cheating. Students may not request others (including commercial or free term-paper organizations) to conduct research or prepare any work for them.

8.1.2 Fabrication

Fabrication is the falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic work or required program documentation such as clinical permits, criminal reference checks, etc. Invented information may not be used in any academic work without the prior authorization of the faculty. It would be considered misconduct, for instance, to analyze one sample in an experiment and invent data based on that single experiment for several more required analyses. The actual and original source of the information must be acknowledged in a citation.

8.1.3 Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the representation of words or ideas of another as one’s own in any academic work. Self-plagiarism is the resubmission of identical or previous work, or portions thereof. Students should be aware that plagiarism or self-plagiarism of any part of a work is academic misconduct; there is no partial culpability or penalty. To avoid plagiarism/self-plagiarism, every source of information must be identified and properly documented according to an established writing convention determined by the faculty, for example; American Psychological Association (APA) style. Faculty have the right to request that students submit their work for electronic detection of plagiarism.

8.1.4 Facilitating academic misconduct

Students who knowingly or negligently allow their work or portions of their work or drafts of their work to be used by other students or who otherwise aid others in committing academic misconduct are violating academic integrity. This applies to students who hide, misrepresent or falsify information related to an incident of academic misconduct. Such students are as guilty as a student who receives and uses the material or is involved in the incident directly, even though they may not themselves benefit from that act of misconduct, and are therefore subject to the same penalties.

8.1.5 Denying access to information or material

It is a breach of academic integrity to deny others access to academic resources or to deliberately impede the progress of another student or scholar. This would include giving other students false or misleading information, making library or shared resource material unavailable to others by stealing, deliberately misplacing, defacing or destroying any of these resources, including computer files that are not one’s own.

8.1.6 Copyright violation

Canada’s Copyright Act, states the legal and permissible use of copyrighted material. Georgian College has adopted the ‘Association of Canadian Community Colleges Fair Dealing Policy’ that provides guidance in copying according to the Fair Dealing exception under the Copyright Act. Copying beyond the limits of the guidelines and the Copyright Act, is a violation and liability for these actions will rest with the individual who made the illegal copy.

8.2 Academic misconduct process

  • If at any point in the process outlined below the situation is shown, to the faculty’s satisfaction, to be free of academic misconduct, no record is kept of the incident.
  • If at any point during the process outlined below, the student is unresponsive or unwilling to meet within the required timelines, the process proceeds and the AMF is ultimately forwarded to the Office of the Registrar for processing. The student’s signature on the form is not required in order for a penalty to be applied.
  • If a student is currently enrolled in a work-integrated learning (WIL) term when a misconduct is identified, the student will be immediately taken out of their WIL term unless the student is more than half way through their term in which case the student will remain in their WIL term, unless the penalty imposed is dismissal from the College. 
  • If an academic misconduct is identified for group work, the process proceeds individually for every member of the group. In cases where one or more members of the group (a subset of the group) are identified to be responsible for the misconduct, only the individual members of the group held responsible are charged.
  • The AMF remains part of the student’s file in the Office of the Registrar, however no indication of academic misconduct is made on a student grade report or transcript. As with other documents in the student’s file, access is restricted by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 1990 as noted in section 6, Academic records.
  • From end to end, the process should take no longer than 10 days to be finalized.

The process for academic misconduct is outlined in the table below.

Step Process Owner Resource
1 Suspect academic misconduct Faculty member Exam, test, assignment, etc.
2 Faculty advises and consults with Program Coordinator. Faculty member phone/email
3 Schedule student/faculty meeting to be held within three working days of first identifying suspected misconduct. Faculty member Banner, timetable/outlook calender
4 Contact the Office of the Registrar via RORecords@georgiancollege.ca to determine any previous misconducts. Faculty member Phone/email/in-person
5 Review student file for previous misconducts. Office of the Registrar Banner/SPACMNT notes
6 Notify the faculty member of any prior misconducts. Office of the Registrar Phone/email/in-person
7 Complete the Academic Misconduct Form (AMF) with current offence # and penalty. Faculty member AMF
8 Conduct student/faculty meeting. If third offence, provide warning to student that a fourth offence will result in an automatic dismissal from the college for up to 5 years. Faculty member AMF and supporting evidence
9 Student signs the AMF and either a) acknowledges the offence and accepts the penalty, or b) does not. Also, if the student does not wish to meet/sign the form, the process still continues to proceed to step 10. Student AMF
10 Send AMF and any supporting evidence to the Dean/Associate Dean. Faculty member Email
11 Review AMF and supporting evidence, discuss with faculty and schedule meeting with student and faculty to be held within three working days of receiving the AMF from the faculty. Dean/Associate Dean AMF/phone/email
12 Conduct meeting with student, faculty and Dean/Associate Dean. Dean/Associate Dean AMF and supporting evidence
13 Finalize/sign the AMF and email the form to the student with copy to the Office of the Registrar, the Program Coordinator, and the faculty member. In this same message, advise student of option as per 9.2.1 Academic Appeal process if they have not acknowledged the offence or did not sign the form. Dean/Associate Dean AMF
14 Update student information in Banner. Office of the Registrar Banner/SPACMNT notes
15 Implement any changes needed as a result of the outcome. Faculty member/Office of the Registrar Blackboard, Banner

Penalties for Academic Misconduct

Any one of the penalties listed below can be applied on the first, second and third offence. The penalty imposed is recommended by the faculty member and ultimately determined by the Dean/Associate Dean in accordance with the severity of the offence and the number of past misconducts found.

  • Verbal warning
  • Complete training on academic misconduct
  • Re-Submit work involved
  • Mark of “0” in work involved
  • Mark of “0” in the course
  • Immediate dismissal from the College for the current term, plus one subsequent term
  • Immediate dismissal from the College for one year (12 months)
  • Immediate dismissal from the College for three years
  • Immediate dismissal from the College for five years

On the fourth offence, the student is automatically dismissed from the college for a period of time ranging from the current term plus one subsequent term up to five years as determined by the Dean/Associate Dean.

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