7. Academic rights and responsibilities

Higher education and society both benefit when a college promotes and enforces standards of integrity that provide a foundation for a vibrant academic life, promotes progress in science and arts, and prepares students for responsible citizenship and professional conduct. The Centre for Academic Integrity defines academic integrity as a commitment to the fundamental values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility. Georgian College endorses these values and is committed to translating them into action. Since they adversely affect the credibility of academic work by students at the college and the credentials held by alumni of the college, breaches of ethics and integrity will not be tolerated.

7.1 Student academic rights

Students’ rights in the academic, human and legal arenas are important in ensuring a smooth path to their success. Students must not let anyone diminish the value of their achievements by taking unfair advantage. Students should not accept any academic dishonesty or actions that diminish the dignity of students or staff, however they occur.

Student rights are protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code, as well as Georgian College’s Human Rights policy and these Academic regulations.

7.2 Student academic responsibilities

Students are responsible for conducting themselves in a manner that brings credit to themselves and the college community. The responsibilities can be summed up in the following attendance statements and eight cardinal rules, paraphrased and taken from Northwestern University website https://www.northwestern.edu/provost/policies/academic-integrity/cardinal-rules.html.

7.2.1 Attendance

Faculty determine the requirements for success in students’ courses. Students are responsible for attending classes, not only for course content, but also for information related to the progress of the course.

Tests, examinations, assignments, clinical and field placements must be written/submitted/attended at the time specified (refer to Section 10: Test and examination regulations). Requests for absence must be made prior to the test/examination/assignment/clinical/field placement date. Reasons for absence in medical, or bereavement situations, if documented, allows faculty to make alternate arrangements for assignments and tests or allow consideration of an incomplete contract if necessary. See section 3.4.4: Incomplete grade designation.

Accommodations may also be made to allow for religious observance. In all cases, arrangements must be made with the faculty prior to the test, examination, assignment, clinical or field placement due date. Other reasons for absence are not sufficient to receive any special consideration and result in a mark of 0. For more information, refer to the Accommodation of Religious Observances Policy, and Section 10: Test and examination regulations.

7.2.2 Student conduct

The learning environment and activities are controlled by the faculty, and guided by mutual respect, common sense, propriety, courtesy and etiquette. The faculty has the right to require any student to cease and desist in actions that are disruptive or that impede positive progress in the course. The faculty has the right to require anyone to leave the learning environment if positive progress is impeded by his or her actions or comments. Also, students are not permitted to transmit, distribute or make materials available that are harassing or discriminatory. Illegal, abusive, obscene, threatening, intimidating or demeaning transmissions to any individual or group are also prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of electronic mail systems and postings on electronic bulletin or message boards, Blackboard and web pages. Further actions may be taken under law, or the college’s Student Code of Conduct or Human Rights policies.

7.2.3 Improper use of technology

The faculty may ban any device deemed to impede positive progress of the class or deemed to compromise the integrity of tests or examinations. The faculty has the right to cancel a class if safety or health of any individual is at risk. Further actions may be taken under law, or the college’s Student Code of Conduct or Human Rights policies. For detailed information about use of Information Technology, refer to the Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy.  

7.2.4 Acknowledgement of sources

Whenever students use words or ideas that are not their own when writing papers, they must cite their sources with an in-text citation, use quotation marks where appropriate, and include a list of references for the sources cited. Failure to do this constitutes 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 APA (American Psychological Association) style.

Faculty have the right to submit student work for electronic detection of plagiarism or to require that the student submit their own work for detection of same.

7.2.5 Protection of work

Students must not allow anyone access to the work they have prepared for evaluation, whether in a test, examination or assignment, etc. The student is the only one who should receive credit for what he or she knows, unless prior agreement has been reached with the faculty that group work (and group credit) is allowed.

7.2.6 Avoiding suspicion

Students should not put themselves in a position where they could be suspected of having made their work accessible to others, having copied another’s work, or having used unauthorized aids. Even the appearance of dishonesty may undermine faculty confidence in students’ abilities.

7.2.7 Taking credit for another’s work

The purpose of assignments is to develop skill and measure progress. Letting someone else do the work for which another student takes credit defeats the purpose of education and may lead to serious charges.

7.2.8 Never falsifying a record

Students must never falsify a record of any kind, nor permit another person to do so. Academic records are regularly audited and students whose grades have been altered put their entire grade history at risk. Students should keep copies of work they hand in to protect themselves from loss.

7.2.9 Never fabricating

Students must not fabricate data, citations, experimental results or any other activity-derived work. Students must not fabricate any medical or other documentation used to support a test rewrite, extension, or other request for special consideration. Fabrication also includes but is not limited to documentation related to co-op jobs, placements, employer or placement supervisor evaluation or signatures.

7.2.10 Always telling the truth

Any attempt to deceive may destroy the relationship between students and faculty, and students and the college. Hiding, omitting or misrepresenting information does not constitute the truth and, in situations where the student is a witness, may make the student an accessory subject to the same penalty as the culprit.

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