8. Academic misconduct

In any academic activity at the college, students are responsible and accountable for academic integrity. Academic misconduct is disciplined according to the severity of the offence. Those who are found to have repeated offences are progressively disciplined.

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 are 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. Students may not submit identical work, or portions thereof, more than once without prior approval.

8.1.2 Fabrication

Fabrication is the falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic work or required program documentation. 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. Students should be aware that plagiarism of any part of a work is academic misconduct; there is no partial culpability or penalty. To avoid 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

Under Canada’s Copyright Act, it is illegal to copy most published materials without permission. Georgian College has signed a licence with CANCOPY (the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency) that allows copying within certain guidelines. Copying guidelines are posted at all photocopiers and further information can be obtained by contacting the Purchasing department at 705.728.1968, ext. 5209. Copying beyond the limits of the licence is a violation of the college’s agreement with CANCOPY, and possibly a violation of the Copyright Act. Liability for these actions will rest with the individual.

8.2 Academic misconduct process

When a faculty suspects an offence has occurred, students are required to meet with the faculty within five working days to discuss the incident. If the situation is shown, to the faculty’s satisfaction, to be free of academic misconduct, no record is kept of the incident.

If the faculty or program coordinator determines that an offence has occurred, perhaps without identifying the offenders or severity of the offence completely, a formal process is started and records are kept.

If 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.

In all instances, faculty keeps and secures any and all documents related to an incident until the process is complete.

Important:

  • If at any point in the process, the student acknowledges the offence and accepts the penalty, the Academic misconduct form (AMF) is signed by the student and the Dean/Associate Dean of the academic area, and submitted to the Office of the Registrar. No further meetings are required and the process ends.
  • If at any point during the process, the student is unresponsive or unwilling to meet within the required timelines, the AMF is forwarded to the Office of the Registrar for processing. Only the Dean or an Associate Dean signs in this instance. The student’s signature on the form is not required in order for the penalty to be applied.

The process for academic misconduct is as follows:

  1. The faculty completes the first part of an AMF for the student and contacts the student for a mandatory meeting (form is available online at GeorgianCollege.ca/academics/forms and in all program areas).
  2. The Office of the Registrar is contacted to determine if previous instances of academic misconduct are on file for that student. A previous incidence determines the minimum penalty available as per the penalties for academic misconduct chart, below.
  3. The student is required to meet with the faculty and the coordinator (or designate) within five working days of the mandatory meeting request to discuss the offence.
  4. The coordinator facilitates the meeting and keep notes; a copy of the AMF is given to the student.
  5. The AMF and the notes are passed on to the office of the Dean/Associate Dean of the academic area.
  6. The student is required to meet with the faculty (and/or coordinator) and the Dean/Associate Dean (or designate) of the academic area within five working days of the previous meeting, to discuss and make the decisions required in the second part of the AMF.
  7. The signature of the student and the Dean/Associate Dean acknowledge the decision made by the student. The next steps arising from the decision made by the student are discussed with the student.
  8. If the student wishes to appeal the sanction, the appeal regulation outlined in part 2 of section 9.2.1 Academic appeal process must be followed. Otherwise, the Registrar processes the sanction within five working days. A revelation of previous offence(s) from the student’s record may result in the penalty being increased, and the student will be so notified.
  9. The AMF remains part of the student’s file in the Office of the Registrar for one year after leaving Georgian College. 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.

Penalties for Academic Misconduct

Offence Minimum Penalty Maximum Penalty
First Mark of “0” in the work evaluated Immediate dismissal from the college for the current term, plus one subsequent term
Second Mark of “0” in the course Immediate dismissal from the college for three years
Third Mark of “0” in the course, immediate dismissal from the college for one year Immediate dismissal from the college for five years